Senate

Masters slams McConnell over campaign spending, says he shouldn’t be Senate GOP leader

Associated Press/Ross D. Franklin
Blake Masters, a Republican candidate running for US Senate in Arizona, speaks at a Save America rally Friday, July 22, 2022, in Prescott, Ariz.

Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters (R) slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Friday night, saying that the top Republican should have directed more campaign spending his way to take on Sen. Mark Kelly (D) in the 2022 midterms.

As of Friday night, Kelly leads Masters in the state 51.6 percent to 46.3 percent, respectively, with 79 percent of the votes counted, according to The Associated Press. However, the race has yet to be called amid uncertainty about which party will control the upper chamber.

During an interview with Fox News, Masters told host Tucker Carlson that if a McConnell-aligned super PAC, Senate Leadership Fund, had spent more money into the Arizona Senate race, the contest would be over by now.

“The people who control the purse strings, Senate Leadership Fund, Mitch McConnell — McConnell decided to spend millions of dollars attacking a fellow Republican in Alaska instead of helping me defeat Senator Mark Kelly,” an animated Masters said.

“Had he chosen to spend money in Arizona, this race would be over we’d be celebrating a Senate Majority right now,” he continued.

The Senate Leadership Fund withdrew ad spending from Arizona in August, a move that presented problems for the Trump-backed GOP candidate for Senate less than three months out from Election Day.

The PAC called off its advertisement reservations that were set to air in Arizona between Sept. 6 and Oct. 3, according to AdImpact. The ad cancellation amounted to $8 million, about half of what the group was intending to spend in the state.

In September, the PAC confirmed it was cutting an additional $9.6 million in ad buys for the race between Oct. 4 and Election Day, but said at the time that a majority of the reservation had already been made up by outside conservative groups.

On Friday, Masters went so far as to call on Senate Republicans not to vote for McConnell as GOP leader in the upper chamber, arguing that he doesn’t deserve the position.

“And so my message to the people of America, my message to actually my, the Republican senators, hopefully my future colleagues, let’s not vote Mitch McConnell into leadership. He doesn’t deserve to be majority leader or minority leader,” Masters said.

Masters’s comments come after other Senate Republicans have pointed the finger at McConnell after Republicans around the country failed to deliver the “red wave” that pollsters and lawmakers alike expected.

On Friday, Republican Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.) called for Senate leadership elections to be postponed amid rumblings that Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) would launch a long shot bid for McConnell’s post.

Hawley told RealClearPolitics in an interview that “Washington Republicanism” and McConnell’s decision not to offer an alternative vision hurt the Republican Party on Election Day.

Tags 2022 midterm elections 2022 midterms 2022 Midterms House 2022 midterms Senate Arizona Senate race Blake Masters Blake Masters Blake Masters Josh Hawley Marco Rubio Mark Kelly Mark Kelly Mitch McConnell red wave Republican Party Tucker Carlson

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